Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Becoming a Sports Fan

Goran Dragic, courtesy of Wikipedia.
So recently I've found myself watching sports more often than I usually do. I grew up with a Dad who was a huge Arizona Cardinals football fan. In fact, I can remember being seven years old and discussing the name change from the Phoenix Cardinals to the Arizona Cardinals in 1993. (For the record, I much preferred Phoenix.) Although I liked football well enough I could never really get into it to be a huge fan. Now, my in-laws are made up of rabid Phoenix Suns fans. Sometimes I sit out in the living room and watch the games, but for the most part up until recently I never paid that much attention. I've been watching Suns games recently, though, and really enjoying it. It is basically impossible not to enjoy watching the Suns play. They have so much energy and are so connected. Egos never seem to come into play.

It's kind of hard to get into a sports game on television if you have difficulty hearing the announcers. Yes, if you know the rules of the game you can simply watch it, and of course the score is always displayed on the television. But starting out just watching a game is no way to become a fan of a specific team. You miss out on what the announcers have to say about the history of the team, an individual player's record or personality, the possible reasons behind a coach pulling back another player and sending out someone from the bench, etc., etc. And I'm sure you all know just how terrible captioning during live sporting events is. It's seconds behind and by the time it catches up the team is well on to another play.

And I'm not even going to mention the fouls. This is the bane of my life when I'm watching a basketball game. I have never once actually heard an announcer when they said what a foul was for, not to mention hearing the ref's whistle when a foul occurs. I actually loved it when we went to an actual game and I could see on the scoreboard the number of fouls. I could glance up if I thought I heard a whistle and see the number change and know which team the foul was against. Too bad no television channel shows a display of fouls like they do the score; it really helped.

So if it's such a pain how am I enjoying the Suns games of late? Well, Scotty went through and showed me a picture of each member of the team (from the Suns' official website). Now I know what each person looks like, their personality and their jersey number. That helps a lot in terms of understanding the announcer because I know the names to listen for. And I've been listening to my family when they react to the game. They are easier to hear than the announcers (especially when they are yelling right in your ear)! And part of it is becoming more familiar with the game. If one team has the ball and a foul is called it's probably against the other team. You can only get familiar with the game by watching it.

Deafness is not new in the world of sports. My dad was fond of telling me the story that the American football huddle was invented because of a Deaf player (to prevent the other team from learning the plays that were about to happen because of his signing). It can just be a bit trickier to become a fan in the first place.

Oh, and by the way, GO SUNS!


  1. I'm so glad & excited that you're getting more into the games. I think it's a fun way for us as a family to bond. And it's a bummer since you've started really paying attention, the games are on TNT where the announcers just chit chat whereas on FSN or My45 the announcers will talk but still inform you of fouls and any other calls. Those channels are way better to watch the games on. since TNT sucks at commentating on the actual game, I pay more attention to the refs themselves. Dad & I found a site on some of the signals the refs give & the corresponding foul/call. I think it's really helpful in following along & knowing which team fouled & what kind of foul it is. I can show you sometime if you're interested. (& if you have any other questions about the game, I know you can ask Scotty, but I'd be more than happy to explain things!)

    Can't wait until you are able to pick a favorite player based on their personality & style of play.

  2. Thanks Alicia! That site sounds like it would be useful. Can't wait for the next game! :)


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